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Nova Productions v Mazooma Games

[2006] EWHC 24 (Ch)

Case summary last updated at 28/01/2020 16:41 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case Nova Productions v Mazooma Games

C, a games manufacturer, had copyright in a computer game based upon pool. Alleged that D had infringed this copyright through the development of its own games, in form of:
i)        literary works (the original game designer’s notes and program he wrote to develop the game; and 
ii)       dramatic works (the visual experience provided by the game). 
iii)     artistic works (the bitmap graphics and frames generated and displayed to the user); was alleged that the combined effect of a number of freeze frame graphics was mimicked in the later game, and that this effect constituted an artistic work. Held:
Chancery Court
1)     Source code for producing a game constitutes a literary work.
2)     The game itself is not a dramatic work
i)         Is not intended to be performed in front of an audience
-        Rather, what happens in the game depends upon the player’s actions
ii)       The features of the game alleged to be copied are also not capable of performance
3)     The series of still imagesdo not constitute a graphic work.
Ø  Only one still image alone can constitute a graphic work.
Ø  Hence a series of static images cannot constitute a graphic work (and therefore an artistic work).
Ø  Parliament obviously created copyright for moving images under the notion of copyright in film in CDPA1988.

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